A MUM sealed her newborn in plastic bags and left the baby girl to die in agony for at least two hours, a court has heard.
Hannah Cobley, 29, who hid her pregnancy from family and friends, is alleged to have killed the child in a “chilling” deliberate act on 26 April 2017.
PA:Press Association Hannah Cobley, 29, (right) stands accused of killing her newborn baby
Prosecutors say she gave birth in an outside toilet at around 2am and forced something inside the infant’s throat to silence her cries.
Cobley is accused of inflicting severe head injuries on the baby and sealing her inside three plastic bags despite signs that she may still have been alive, Leicester Crown Court heard.
She is then said to have abandoned the child’s body in an overgrown area at the farm, where she lived with her parents in Leicestershire.
A post-mortem revealed that the baby survived her injuries for two hours or more before dying, the court heard.
On the night her baby died, Cobley has accepted making internet searches including one at 3.31am reading “how long can a newborn last without milk in the freezing cold”.
Another at 5.06am asked “when a baby is born how long can it survive without being fed”.DENIES MURDER
Cobley, who left grammar school aged 15 and has worked as a driver for her father’s firm, has denied murdering the newborn.
She has claimed she believed the baby was stillborn.
But prosecutor Jonas Hankin QC told jurors: “Miss Cobley gave birth to a living child.
“Although premature at 32 weeks’ gestation – roughly seven months – she was a normal healthy baby.
“Miss Cobley did nothing to ensure her baby lived.
‘SILENCED BABY’S CRIES’
“On the contrary, the prosecution case is that Miss Cobley, with chilling clarity of purpose, deliberately and intentionally killed her baby.
“First, she silenced the baby’s cries by forcing something into her throat, which was later found to have caused injuries in that location.
“Then she assaulted the baby causing very severe head injuries.
“Finally, despite recognising that the baby might still be alive, she sealed the baby inside three plastic bags – layered, one on top of the other – and abandoned her body in an overgrown area of garden behind one of the farm outbuildings.
BABY ‘SURVIVED FOR TWO HOURS’
“Post-mortem examinations subsequently revealed that, disturbingly, the baby had survived her injuries for two hours or more before dying.”
The court heard Cobley is said to have acted normally before she was admitted to hospital three days after the birth, when she suffered a collapse due to complications.
Jurors were also told the defendant does not admit an intention cause serious injury, and may raise a partial defence of infanticide.
This is an alternative verdict to murder where a mother kills her child while her mind is disturbed by a failure to recover from the effects of childbirth.
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Claiming that Cobley’s actions had been rational, Mr Hankin told the court: “The prosecution says that there is no evidence that at the time of the killing the balance of Miss Cobley’s mind was disturbed.
“It cannot be said that the balance of the defendant’s mind was disturbed by reason of a failure to recover from the effects of childbirth in circumstances where the killing was planned in advance of giving birth.”
The trial continues.
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